Written By Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
Hello and welcome to the second of a mini-series of blog articles looking back at the ‘void’ Season 2019-20, as deemed by the FA.
In this piece, I look back at Essex Olympian League Division Three, including an array of statistics compiled from the EOFL FA Full-Time website including top goalscorers & top appearance makers in the League fixtures. I was fortunate enough to attend a few Division Three matches this term so they may be referenced to as well here.
EOFL Division Three (as of season cut-off point of March 14th 2020)
As with all the EOFL divisions, the season was halted in mid-March 2020 before eventually being curtailed several weeks later. At that point, ACD Utd held the top spot with 43 points from 18 matches. This record included thirteen wins and only the one loss, which was away at rivals Wakebury in late October. Michael Wade’s side were also the best side defensively in this division this term with only 19 goals conceded all league campaign, not bad for their first campaign as an Olympian League side. Fellow newcomers Wakebury were four points adrift in second place, with twelve wins from their 19 matches this term. Matt Cardy & Dan Blewett’s side were the most entertaining side this term with 56 goals scored, at an average of 2.95 Goals per game (GpG). The Shoebury-based side were not as proficient in defence and that may have cost them the top spot but both Wakebury & ACD have a lot to be proud of this season.
Another promoted side ended up being third in Corinthians Reserves. Terry Rose & Ben Adams’ team had an impressive twelve wins from their 15 matches, with only two losses, at home to Buckhurst Hill Ressies and away at Wakebury, which I was pleased to watch in-person. On a better note, they are the second-best goal-scorers this term with 51 goals (but in fewer matches than the Berries so the GpG is 3.40). A sturdy defence as well may have seen them climb into the top two, had the season continued. The next two sides ended in close formation in fourth & fifth respectively. Firstly, Toby Reserves were fourth on 29 points, with nine wins from their 18 matches. They were also fourth in the ‘Entertainers’ listing, with a substantial number of their 40 goals this season coming from forwards Marc ‘The Flea’ Porter-Brown and Luis Ruiz. In fifth place are Collier Row with 28 points from fourteen matches, which included an impressive nine wins for you guessed it, another promoted side (from Div Five in 2018/19). What is also noteworthy is that Row have the third-most miserly defence this term as well with 25 goals conceded, so plaudits to them on that.
Another side I saw this term in Hutton Reserves finished in sixth spot, having played the least amount of matches this term (13), ending up with 21 points. Matt Singh’s side grabbed seven wins this term, though as a caveat, six of those wins were at home. The other win was at White Ensign Reserves in mid-December, which happened to be the game I watched them in. Factor in an impressive goal-scoring record of 35 strikes (a GpG of 2.69) this season and again, they also have grounds for optimism next season. Leigh Town Reserves and Buckhurst Hill Reserves finished in seventh and eighth spot respectively. Leigh’s second-side, under the leadership of Robert Hutchings-Spiller ended up with 20 points from their 14 matches played. Unlike their first team in the division above, Town’s defence was breached 33 times this term as they won six and lost six of their matches this season. Hill’s second-team were two points behind them in eighth spot with 18 points from their fourteen games. Again, their defence was their ‘Achilles heel’, shipping 35 goals at an average of 2.50 per game.
Into the bottom four now, with Lakeside Reserves ending up ninth on 14 points from their 17 matches. All four of their wins this term came in their last nine matches as the latter half of the campaign saw them evade the dreaded bottom two. It was that poor start to the campaign (they didn’t win in their first ten matches) that contributed to them having the second-worst defensive record, conceding 48 times. Basildon Town Reserves finished tenth with 13 points from 15 matches. A difficult campaign at both ends of the pitch was highlighted by them having the third-weakest side in terms of goal-scoring, having scored 23 times and also conceding 41 goals, the fourth-worst in the division. Even so, their four wins this term matches the win count combined for the bottom two sides this term.
White Ensign Reserves were 11th, with three wins chalking up the bulk of their ten points gained this term. Manager Jack Caten has had it hard this term, as his side conceded 53 times in their 18 matches, the worst in the division. That said, they continue the club’s tradition of playing at the Len Forge Centre [3G] which is good to see. Finally, another new side in Hullbridge Sports ‘A’ ended up propping up the table, with one win all season – away at rivals Lakeside Reserves. It was a rare great day for Jason Mole’s side, as they scored four points all season and conceded forty-six goals in their 15 matches this term. I saw the bottom two duke out a 1 – draw in November (image above) at the Len Forge.
EOFL Division Three – Top Goalscorers 2019-20 Season
|Club/s||League Goals||League Starts|
|1||Max Hall||Corinthians Res||18||14|
|3||Ed Hart||Collier Row||16||13|
|=4||Sean O’Callaghan||Hutton Res||15||9|
|Michael Wade||ACD Utd||15||11|
|6||Marc Porter-Brown||Toby Res||14||14|
|=7||Harry Davison||Lakeside Res||9||10|
|Luis Ruiz||Toby Res||9||17|
|Ben Munday||Wakebury||8 (+1 pen)||14|
|=11||Chris Pope||Leigh Town Res||7||12|
|Alex Hubbard||Leigh Town Res||7||14|
|=13||Tommy Fraine||Buckhurst Hill Res||6||9|
|George Wickings||Hutton Res||6||10|
|Grant Cumming||Basildon Town Res||6||11|
|Landry Gogoa||Buckhurst Hill Res||6||11|
|Luke Smith||Corinthians Res||6||13|
|Samuel Payne||ACD Utd||6||14|
|Ashley Webb||Corinthians Res||6||14|
Finally, here’s the top page of the Leading Appearance Makers in Division Three (focus on League Starts)
|=2||Jamie Alexandrou||ACD Utd||17||1||18|
|Luis Ruiz||Toby Res||17||0||17|
|Ollie Williams||ACD Utd||17||0||17|
|Dominic Cooper||Toby Res||16||1||17|
|=10||Yaw Danso||White Ensign Res||16||0||16|
|Archie Matthews||White Ensign Res||16||0||16|
|Mason Oakley||ACD Utd||16||0||16|
|Matthew Thompson||Lakeside Res||16||0||16|